Realizing that I need to take better care of myself, I am trying to get into the habit of a morning walk. For some reason, the weather during the spring is always best first thing in the morning. Although the average person would probably wear a medium weight jacket his morning, I found the wind a bit much for my ears and exposed hands. I put my wool cap on, and covered that with a sweatshirt hoodie. To top it off was my heavy down utility jacket and some gloves. I am sure I gave the joggers I passed, who were in spandex, something to giggle at. And I have to admit, I felt extremely wimpy when I lapped the elderly English woman out for her daily stroll, who was wearing lightweight sweats. Seeing her made me remember the elderly, crippled Asian lady who walked daily around the neighborhood. One leg was in a brace and never bent. She walked slow and deliberately. That ended the day she took a spill near my house. It blessed me to see neighbors trying to help. She didn’t seem injured, and her husband was soon there to pick her up. But it is sad to think that she had to give that up.
When I walk, many times I find myself praying and thanking Yahweh my God for creating such a beautiful world for us to enjoy. One with multiple colors, sounds, smells. I find myself marveling at the birds, the trees, everything. It is amazing to see the different trees getting ready for their big reveal. The Maples had red fuzzy flower clusters at the end of each little branch. They looked like poodle tails. Many of the Oaks were still adorned with the brown, crunchy leaves of last fall, with no evidence of life, yet. One cool trees branches had turned a pale yellow green, and the soon to be leaves looked like thorns along the branches, as opposed to the furry cream buds on the dark wooded tree at the next house. Although I have walked this same path for weeks now, today was the first time I noticed two very tall trees that were still sporting round seed pods at the top. Maybe that’s where the walnuts are coming from that the crows like to drop on our roof to crack open. My favorite tree though, was the small, horribly pruned tree in the middle of a front yard still decorated in the red chili pepper Christmas lights from December.
Another unusual thing I have never noticed in past years was that every so often, the soft stuff between the slabs of sidewalk concrete had been dug our leaving a mess on the path. At first I wondered if kids were being kids, but then I realized that I started seeing it right after our worm rain. I bet that a bird of some sort had been pecking through to get to worms or bugs. That was actually confirmed a few blocks away when I saw a small woodpecker doing that very thing!
Woodpeckers are rare to see in our neighborhood. More common are doves, robins, crows and starlings. Sometimes mockingbirds, which I believe are akin to blue jays. They are spectacular birds to watch. They caw similarly to crows and jays, they are large with dark blue feathers and a wide stripe of white on their wings. I really enjoy when they are all talking one to another. The coping of the doves, the chatter of the robins, the songs of the starlings. Every now and then, a pheasant will chime in too. I hope we will have lots of birds out at our property.
As I walked past a flowering forsythia bush, I remembered that that is my signal to do my first lawn feeding. Maybe if the weather holds today, meaning no rain, I can get that done later today. Along the way were flowering primroses, beautiful pink heather, some bush with dainty little white flowers just beginning to bloom, and the remains of the earliest blooming crocuses.
Halfway through my walk, I was startled to hear the sounds of steps behind me. When I turned back, I was amused to see a sturdy, dead leaf from autumn skipping up behind me on the breeze.
There were also an abundance of flags flapping in the breeze this morning. Several American flags floated proudly, one simple black flag with the words US Army, a tattered yellow flag with a coiled rattle snake and the words Don’t Tread On Me, and one decorative Welcome Friends flag on a porch. I certainly felt welcome in my neighborhood. Especially after walking past the corner house with a long vertical wood sign proposed in the doorway that said welcome. But the one that will linger in my memory for a while is the brightly colored porch sign that said BLOOM. I wish I had brought my phone along to photograph it, but that is one of my rules, no phone on my walks. I want to BE in the moment, not be looking for pictures, and miss out on something that I wasn’t focused on. Was BLOOM a proclamation? A command? A recommendation? Or just a hope for the future, as the land comes alive again after its long winter sleep once again.
Bloom. I think I will try to do that.